In the case of BioWare’s Star Wars: The Old Republic, it was the best of times, and then, just as suddenly, it was the worst of times. Following a strong launch, the long-awaited return of Star Wars to the online role-playing front has seen a rough stretch of rapidly decreasing subscribers. Today, further evidence of the title’s struggles surfaced as it was confirmed by EA that Richard Vogel, the game’s Executive Producer, has left BioWare and that many more from BioWare Austin joined him following a string of layoffs.
According to a report by Gamasutra, the departure of Vogel came before this recent bout of restructuring, a plan by BioWare that emerged this past May, allowed for several employees of BioWare Austin to be laid off. Vogel’s contributions to Star Wars: The Old Republic can be seen in every nook and cranny of the game; the Executive Producer was active before and after launch in preparing the game’s every detail. Before coming to BioWare to head production of The Old Republic, Vogel worked on such monumental games in the online space as Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies.
It is unclear as to how many employees of BioWare Austin were laid off, but it is clear that the studio has seen much turmoil in the months that have followed The Old Republic’s release. On behalf of the entire Got Game staff, I wish Richard Vogel and all of the laid-off workers the best as they pursue employment elsewhere in or outside of the industry.